Sarah & Tasha's tattooed and not-strictly-traditional wedding

June 4 |  
Photos by: Mark Stern
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Photos by Mark Stern

The Offbeat Bride: Sarah, English Teacher

Her offbeat partner: Tasha, Mental Health Counselor

Date and location of wedding: The Villa Victora Center for the Arts, Boston, MA — April 13, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We tried, throughout the wedding process, to be as low-key and low-stress as possible. We gave the wedding party the option of wearing whatever they wanted to (although this freedom stressed some of them out). We didn't try and make the wedding party traditional, in the sense of the same number of people on each side. I had four bridesmaids and a best man, while Tasha had two bridesmaids and a best man. We also had four flowers girls, and my tiny three-year-old brother as the ring bearer. In lieu of a cake, we had a sundae bar, and instead of cutting the cake together, we made a delicious sundae.

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We had to frequently remind our family members that this was not a strictly "traditional" wedding. For example: I had my father walk me down the aisle (in the more traditional fashion) and kissed my mother at the end, while Tasha came down a spiral staircase alone, and kissed her parents at the end of the aisle.

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Our DJ, Dmitri, is a local karaoke host at a dive bar in Dedham, MA which mostly serves the over-60 crowd. He played an eclectic arrangement of music, but most importantly, he sang all of the slow songs. And by sang, I mean, this man has one of the best, well-rounded voices I have ever heard. He sang "Moon River" for my father/daughter dance, Josh Groban and Frank Sinatra, among others. This combination of DJ/singer was a total hit!

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Tell us about the ceremony: Our officiant, Linda, is my mother's best friend, and she is one of the kindest and most resilient people I know. Her voice alone can calm a room, and we knew she was the perfect person to marry us. She gave a beautiful introduction, which included a plug for legalizing gay marriage everywhere, and then she introduced two readings. My friend, Marina, who I have known since second grade, read a poem by W.H. Auden called "Foxtrot From a Play."

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Tasha's friend from college, Addie, read a Maya Angelou poem called, "Touched by an Angel." Tasha and I shared our promises and exchanged the rings. Linda jumped the gun because she was so excited, and before we had even gotten the rings on she shouted, "I now pronounce you married; you may each kiss your bride!" It was lovely.

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Our biggest challenge: It was definitely difficult to save money for the wedding because I was doing an unpaid internship during the planning process. We tried to find ways to cut costs and still make it beautiful! One way we tried to cut costs was by making our own save-the-dates, but they turned out horrifically ugly, so we laughed at our lack of artistic skills, and succumbed to ordering them online. We tried to be all about DIY, but make sure you know your artistic strengths before you tackle a project.

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The biggest challenge the day of was making sure that we both got our hair and makeup done. Tasha's amazing sister, Arielle, was doing our hair, and my best friend, Tara, was doing our makeup. Since Tasha and I were apart from each other while getting ready, they were running around like mad women. I am not sure how they managed to get themselves dressed as well. In retrospect, definitely leave double the amount of time you need for hair/make-up, especially if you don't typically do your makeup.

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My favorite moment: Having all of our family and friends come to celebrate with us was probably one of the most meaningful parts of our wedding. We sat at a sweetheart table on the stage, and just took a moment as we were eating dinner to look out at all of our friends and family. To see everyone enjoying themselves, mingling, and just being in the moment of our wedding, was truly breath-taking.

What was also really amazing was when we walked out of the ceremony, we found a little corner by the elevator and just fell into each others arms. We hugged and cried, and embraced a moment of alone time before we had to greet all of our guests. Even though it was in a random corner by an elevator, those few moments made the entire day special and real.

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My funniest moment: Tasha and I wrote our own vows, and didn't disclose them to each other prior to the wedding. It was funny to hear how similar some of the vows were: Tasha said, "I promise I will dress up for Halloween every year, but I don't promise I won't complain about it." While I said, "I promise to get as excited about Christmas as you do, provided that you always dress up for Halloween. And I promise to read the Grinch to you on Christmas Eve."

Then I said, "I promise to grow exceptionally old with you. I promise to walk down the street confusing passers-by who can't understand why the two old sisters are kissing and holding hands. I promise to always be that passionate for you." While she said, "I promise to share the responsibility of correcting people who ask if we're sisters."

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Another funny moment was when Tyler, Tasha's brother and best man, said in his speech that ever since he was a little boy, he had always dreamed about giving the best man speech at his sister's lesbian wedding.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Catering: Above and Beyond Catering
  • Photography: Mark Stern
  • Awesome bridge tattoo: Cathy Johnson. This tattoo is based off a recurring dream that I had for two years. I could never get across the bridge, and then one day, I did. My part of the tattoo is a bridge falling down running into a complete bridge. It ends with a puzzle piece, and connects to a complete bridge on Tasha's arm that runs off into an unfinished bridge. The panorama represents our lives being chaotic, then coming together, and now we will finish them together.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Oh my goodness, this is just full of so much awesome! I am in awe of your bridge tattoo(s) and as for those lovely dresses – wow. There's so much happiness shining through in these photos. And I must confess that I giggle-snorted at the save-the-date dilemma… I've learned that I'm not that crafty myself!

    6 agree
    • Thank you! Yes, it was quite a hilarious disaster.

  2. Those bridge tattoos are AMAZING! I love them!

    We also had a sweetheart table, and it was great to get to see everyone there to love and support us.

    You two are a beautiful couple, who look truly happy. Cheers!

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  3. This was such a sweet story to read and you two look amazing! I love your "Choose a seat not a side" sign and the parts that you shared from your vows – they are adorable and made me laugh! You two look so happy. Congrats!

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    • Thank you! We kept the "choose a seat" sign, even though one of the letters fell off. I just tried to draw it in with marker, which was not pretty, note "save-the-date" debacle.

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      • Hiya

        wow what an amazing story, you havw given me ideas. We in the uk can get married from march and we are in june.. Your day is what its about, love.. Im terrified about the day, but excited

        heres to a long and happy life x

  4. Firstly … Oh my, what fabulous tattoos.

    Secondly … What a beautiful happy couple. I love your vows and now I'm all sniffly :)

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  5. Where is each dress from? I was dozing at my computer when i clicked on this and now Im wide awake with love for your beautiful day and dresses. Designer?

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    • Jessica,

      I got my dress from David's Bridal for a very good price, and Tasha got hers at Manhattan Bridals, a local store in Dedham, MA (that is more expensive) but has gorgeous dresses.

  6. I literally LOL'ed at the best man's toast!! How frickin sweet is that!! You ladies are gorgeous and look so happy! <3

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  7. Totally tearing up here. The design for the tattoos is lovely and I loved the story behind it. They look so happy!

  8. wow totally loved it… Im getting married also in august with my princess, my best friend…
    Congrats.
    Love the idea of the sundae bar… Question.. any tricks to it? For the ice cream not to melt, what did u use?
    Thank you!! :)

    1 agrees
    • Marie-Eve,

      Honestly the containers of ice cream were so large that melting wasn't an issue. The dessert caterers are really only there for an hour or so anyway, so it was totally fine. I happened to know the caterer personally, so he saved us a bunch of the ice cream after! I definitely recommend it; it is cheaper and more fun than cake!

  9. Amazeballs photography. I love the documentary-style look. Thank god they're not more of that glowing soft trend that we're all so sick of. Beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful women photographed in an intimate and timeless way.

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  10. Wow! those matching tattoos are so intricate and precise. I'm amazed at the artisanship of it. Also, I love that there seemed to be bridesmaids on both side. Why wouldn't there be? Though I didn't really get to see a zoomed out photo of the couple during their ceremony (so I'm not totally positive on this aspect), it would have been cool if one set of bridesmaids wore one color and the other wore a different color. Very cool nonetheless.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I had more bridesmaids/groomsmen than Tasha, so what we decided to do was alternate purple and blue dresses (regardless of the side) and we set them up in a semi-circle around us instead of having them on either side of us. It made it feel even closer and more intimate to have them in a circle around us. :)

  11. "We gave the wedding party the option of wearing whatever they wanted to (although this freedom stressed some of them out). We didn't try and make the wedding party traditional, in the sense of the same number of people on each side."

    Fiancee and I are going to do the same thing, and I can see one of my bridesmaids is going to have an internal mini-meltdown (she's very big into helping me plan the wedding, but she leans towards traditional and I think that might be an issue for her XD).

    My fiancee is shyer than I am and has fewer friends that she counts as "close", plus we'll be marrying on the east coast which is the opposite side of the country for her social circle, so her side of the wedding party is going to be a lot smaller than mine barring any of my people backing out. I've offered to loan her a few of our mutual friends that I met first XD

    I love the image of one bride being escorted by her father, and the other descending a spiral staircase by herself. You get the sweetly traditional and the dramatic all at once. It must have looked beautiful.

    2 agree
  12. wow… just wow. beauteous day and photos ladies!!

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